ING Leases 144,000 SF at Iconic 230 Park Avenue


ING US, Inc. has signed an 11-year lease extension for 144,000 square feet at the historic 1.4-million-square-foot 230 Park Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

230 Park AvenueThe leading provider of retirement, investment management and insurance services has been in the building since 1984, starting with a 55,000-square-foot lease and steadily expanding its footprint over the past three decades.

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The firm will now occupy the entire 13th and 14th floors at the landmark building, which sits atop Grand Central Terminal, beginning April 2014.

“ING has always had a large footprint in the building and we are proud that the firm will continue to base its New York operations here,” said Brian Robin, president of Monday Properties, which owns the building with Invesco Real Estate (IVZ).

The 34-story tower was built in 1929 as the headquarters of the New York Central Railroad and designed by Warren & Wetmore, the architects behind Grand Central.  It was the tallest building in what was then known as the “Terminal City” complex around Grand Central. The building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1987 under the ownership of Harry Helmsley.

“There’s great history here,” Mr. Robin said, whose company became property manager of the building in the late 1990′s and in partnership with Invesco has since overseen over $100 million in capital improvements, making it the first Pre-War office building to achieve LEED Gold Certification under the U. S. Green Building Council.

The ING lease reflects the benefit of the continuous capital improvements to the building, which includes new elevators, windows, roof and HVAC systems, to name a few, Mr. Robin said.

“It is possible to bring contemporary technology and sophistication to a building of this age, without losing the spirit of the building,” he said. “That’s a business practice we apply to all of our properties.”

ING was represented in the lease negotiations by Steve Ernst of Cassidy Turley’s Tampa, Forida office, together with co-brokers Moshe Sukenik and Neil Goldmacher of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Monday Properties was represented in-house by Jordan Berger and by Frank Doyle of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The ING renewal follows Clarion Partners’ 71,000-square-foot lease in April, when the real estate investment firm and former ING subsidiary took the 12th floor space it previously sub-leased from ING.

More recently, Little Rock, Arkansas-based Bank of the Ozarks leased 2,400 square feet on the landmark building’s ninth floor; Dallas, Texas-based Comerica expanded its presence with a 5,900-square-foot lease on the sixth floor; and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust signed a new 15-year lease for 5,400 square feet on the fifth floor.

“The building has earned the trust of the international banking community,” Mr. Robin said, pointing to additional banking tenants Deutsche Bank, Union Bank of California, Bank of Argentina and HSH Nordbank.

Remaining vacancies are sparse in the building, but half of 33rd floor remains, along with two high-end suites on the 4th floor and a 10,000 square foot ground floor restaurant space.

“The [low] vacancy that we have speaks to the general vitality that the market is enjoying right now,” Mr. Robin said. “Mid-2013 is feeling like a healthy year.”